Tagged novellas

Appreciation: Blue and Gold by K.J. Parker

**Appreciations Disclaimer: an Appreciation is not a review, nor a summary, nor a fan letter, nor a critical essay (although it may contain traces of each). There may be spoilers — minor or major — ahead.**

It’s not just the lovely prose that unfolds in a utterly mad, yet lyrical way.

It’s not just the fast paced plot with it’s several twists and turns.

It’s not just the charming, wry cad of an unreliable narrator (Salonius).

It’s not just that beautiful design and packaging from Subterranean Press reinforces the richness of the text.

It’s not just that it’s a novella, a form that I love.

It’s not just that it’s about alchemy and aesthetics and love and greed and seduction and immortality. Nor is it that the allegory is there, but not overly pushed or extended.

It’s not just that it intersects the literary and the speculative in a seamless way.

It’s that, in the end, Saloninus escapes the situation, invents the titular blue, and retires in style. I love that Parker doesn’t cop out and end with ambiguity or everything in ruins or the hero/anti-hero all beat up (emotionally, physically) and barely functioning but winning. To provide this satisfaction (which is also, possibly, a defeat, albeit a comfortable one) in this way is to subvert both literary and speculative expectations, but only slightly and rather deftly. I found it quite delicious.